A katydid that had been perched on my chair leg walks jerkily across the porch and stops in the shadow of a railing, outlandishly green.
A wood thrush fledgling lands on the lower bar of the fretwork spandrel, breast feathers disheveled, eyerings imparting a look of surprise.
Tiny ants are digging holes in the tansy flowers—yellow eyes with seething black pupils. A single-propeller plane: the sound of a clear day.
Sitting outside with my laptop, blind to the world. A phoebe flies past two feet from my nose, followed a minute later by a hummingbird.
A phoebe dives at a cabbage white butterfly and comes up short. It zigzags after it, hovers, snaps again: only a tiny piece of white wing.
The yark, yark of ravens skimming the trees, the low cloud ceiling just above. Crushing humidity. Vegetation still drips from a dawn storm.
Cloudless and cool. The only cricket sound is a low murmur. From up in the woods, the distant crashing of deer running through the laurel.
Six times in a row, the wood pewee chimes in right after the field sparrow. Don’t tell me birds don’t sing in part for the pleasure of it.
A sleek black-and-yellow potter wasp is visiting the bergamot, biting a hole in the base of each drooping floret to suck the nectar.
Even in flight, the cuckoos skulk: two pairs of thin wings as fast and silent as a burglar’s gloves. A small red beetle circles the yard.
Spiderwebs in the meadow and the big rosettes of mullein leaves next to the road glisten with their haul of beads from last night’s rain.
A deer leaps and twists in the tall grass to elude a fly, his damp pelt pale as a salmon, hoarse breathing just audible above the rain.
The sound of a hummingbird at full throttle: a male rocketing back and forth in front of the cedar tree for a hidden female audience of one.
Distant thunder. A black ichneumon wasp walks circles on the porch floor, its wings flickering jerkily like images in a silent film.